Canadian whisky is a type of blended whisky mashed, distilled, and aged in Canada, though it can be bottled in other countries. Canadian whisky has very few regulations with regards to how it is made. The grain bill can be cereal grains or other cereal grain products, the conversion of starches to sugar must be done by diastase of malt or by other enzymes, and it must be fermented by yeast or yeast and other micro-organisms.
Canadian whisky also must be aged in small wood barrels for no less than three years. It also may contain caramel for coloring and flavoring, which can be 9.09% of the volume of the whisky.
Typically, Canadian whisky is distilled from mostly corn and wheat, with some barley and rye (which, oddly enough, is a common name for all Canadian whisky). These grains are distilled at a very high proof, which makes the resulting spirit light and neutral. This distillate is then effectively flavored not only with other, lower proof whiskies, but then flavored with just about anything else (wood extracts, brandy, rum, caramel coloring) and cut with water to 80 proof, so that Canadian whisky lacks a defining flavor profile. Many Canadian whiskies come across as soft and sweet.
A lot of the popularity of Canadian whisky stems from accessibility during Prohibition, where bootleggers used boats to bring whisky from Canada to the United States. After Prohibition ended, large Canadian producers (especially Seagrams) had massive stockpiles of whisky ready to be shipped, so people drank what was available.
The most popular brands of Canadian whisky include Crowl Royal, Canadian Club, Canadian Mist, Seagrams Seven Crown and VO, and Wiser's.
Some popular cocktails containing Canadian whisky
- Scofflaw Cocktail (Harry MacElhone) — Canadian whisky, Dry vermouth, Orange bitters, Lemon juice, Grenadine
- Montreal Cocktail — Gin, Canadian whisky, Aperol, Suze, Grapefruit peel
- The Good Fella — Canadian whisky, Luxardo Bitter, Sweet vermouth, Maraschino Liqueur, Bitters, Cherry
- RCM — Canadian whisky, Orange juice, Lemon juice, Bacon syrup, Maple syrup
- Full Metal Jacket — Rum, Canadian whisky, Averna, Grapefruit peel, Lemon peel
- Swazi Freeze — Canadian whisky, Peach liqueur, Caperitif
- Exhumation Cocktail — Canadian whisky, Cynar, Sweet vermouth, Fernet, Cardamom bitters, Lemon peel
- Anastasia Cocktail — Canadian whisky, Ramazzotti, Orange bitters, Lime juice, Brandied cherry
- The Harvest — Calvados, Canadian whisky, Averna, Allspice Dram, Islay Scotch, Rosemary ginger syrup, Lemon juice
- Canadian Quarter — Canadian whisky, Aromatized wine, Dry vermouth, Fernet Branca, Olive juice